Sales and marketing is an important pivot of any business or organization. After all, if an organization is unable to sell what it produces / offers, the business will come to a standstill. Which is why having the right people on your sales team is so crucial.
Opinions are divided on whether “selling” is part of the personality make-up that one is born with, or more of skill that can be learned and developed. At Psychometrica, we did extensive research before creating the Sales Skills and Personality Profiler (SSaPP), and our research and analysis shows that selling is a mixed bag, it requires the right combination of certain personality traits as well as certain skills.More...
That the human resource is the most critical for an organisation’s efficient functioning, has long been a management truism. That this resource is also an organisation’s most challenging and difficult to manage, is a more covertly, yet universally accepted idea as well!
Organisations have now begun to realise the importance of correct recruitment and deployment of people.
Various different measures and tools have been developed by the HR community to make the selection process as robust as possible. These include:
- Structured Interviews
- Case Studies
- Group Discussions
- Assessment Centers
- Psychometric Assessments
Each of these has their own sets of pros and cons and we won’t get into those on this platform. However, we will try to understand the relevance of psychometric assessments in today’s corporate world.
Everyone recognises that recruitment is a resource exhausting, expensive, and time consuming exercise. Yet, one cannot run away from it. While every company has its own approach toward recruitment, the fact remains that recruitment decisions often tend to be subjective and arbitrary. Using a valid and reliable psychometric test that is relevant to the hiring need that you have, can instantly elevate the soundness of your recruitment decision making. Making the right recruitment decision is cost effective in countless ways: it significantly reduces attrition, enables you to recruit people with the right skill sets, thereby also reducing training costs, it cuts down on the time involved in arriving at a decision, and makes the process objective and scientific.
What are Psychometric Tests?
Psychometrics refers to the science of measuring mental capacities and processes. Traditionally psychometric test is a paper pencil test where you given a set of statement or questions or situation to which you have to respond. On the basis you get an output which is usually in the form of a report, which tells you where you stand across those particular traits, qualities, skills, or attitudes that the test claims to measure. This is the traditional version. Today more and more have gone online. So you can simply log on to a certain site, take the test online, you get your report in your email box usually within a period of 24 to 48 hours.
Some Typical Psychometric Tests
- Personality Assessments / Behavioural Assessments
- Cognitive / Aptitude Assessments
- Skills Assessments
- Values / Motivation Assessments
While the Western corporate world has long been investing heavily in psychometric assessments as one of the parameters to aid in the right job-person match, psychometrics have been slow to gather momentum in India’s corporate milieu. Key reasons for this have been:
- Concern about whether the international tests are relevant for the Indian organisations
- High costs of well-known global psychometric tools, making them unviable to be used on a large scale in Indian organisations.
Relevance in Today’s Competitive World
- Speed and Efficiency: Psychometric assessments provide a quick method of getting more information about employees. The tests, several of which can also be done online, have a time frame ranging from 10 to 45 minutes. Most reports are turned around in 24-48 hours. This appeals greatly to today’s “quick result” generation of managers and decision makers. Assessment can also be administered on a larger group of people simultaneously, thus bringing in more efficiencies.
- Objective Assessment: Eliminates subjectivity in assessment and selection decisions. Tests consistently throw up results based on the individual’s responses to the test items rather than subjective impressions or evaluations formed by interviewers.
- Industry Benchmarks: Psychometric tests are normed against a larger population of similar kinds of candidates. Thus, it provides organisations with an insight into where an individual lies in comparison to the industry.
- Developed by Experts: Psychometric tests are developed by trained psychometricians after rigorous research, and by using psychometric and statistical principles of the highest order. Thus, they bring in a high level of accuracy, precision and depth to the competencies being assessed.
- Highly Cost Effective: For many organisations, the biggest advantage that psychometrics have to offer is that they are easy on the budget. Compared to many other third party methods (assessment centers, in basket exercises, panel interviews), psychometric tools enable huge saves to the organisation, while at the same time, maintaining consistent and stable predictive ability.
Ms. Samindara Hardikar – Sawant
Psychometrica | Disha | Career Pathways
Increasingly, organizations are looking to hire not just employees having the right skills sets, right leadership potential and right capabilities, but also those who show high levels of integrity and commitment to the organization. Employee integrity has become a key phrase, as every organisation today realizes that no matter what potential an individual brings to the organisaiton, ultimately it is his conduct, his values and his approach that determines how much of that potential will benefit the organisation!
So... that brings us to the crucial question: what is integrity? Everyone knows what integrity is; yet, no one can really define it precisely. Does it represent the value system of a person? Or his or her conduct? What about strength of character, is that also part of integrity? Surely, loyalty to the organisation should also be part of the definition of integrity? So many questions! So few answers, really. Let us try to understand what integrity is all about.
Where professional life is concerned, Integrity essentially looks at how committed you are to your work and your organisation. Of course, your ethical code of conduct, or the values you believe in, forms the foundation of your integrity. This ethical code helps form our work ethic, and decides with how much sincerity and honesty we approach our work.
Other aspects that are important in determining an employee's integrity include:
Having a theoretical code of ethics that one believes in is one thing; however, how much does one abide by it? Self-control looks at precisely this - it is about much responsibility and seriousness you show toward your work, how much ownership you take not just for your work but for your conduct at your workplace. Thus, behaving in ways that are consistent with your values is an important aspect of your integrity.
It is common knowledge that employees can and do engage in counterproductive work behaviours. These include misusing official resources (be it stationery, electronics, vehicle, and most importantly, time!), spreading gossip about co-workers, superiors and the organisation, spoiling the organisation's image and so forth. A conscientious employee is one who refrains from engaging in such behaviours, and thus shows high integrity.
Finally, a loyal and committed employee is an organisation's best brand ambassador. Thus, those who have a high sense of belongingness and connect with the organisation are the one who will remain loyal, who will stand by the organisation in good and bad times. Your sense of loyalty, how dependable you are forms an important aspect of your overall integrity.
So ... While integrity is not easy to define or to measure, the above form the cornerstones of an individual's integrity profile. Skills and competencies can be mastered with practice; integrity however, is very much a part of an individual's internal sense of who he is and how he sees the world around him. Getting some sense of an individual's integrity may well be worth the effort for every organisation who believes that human resource is invaluable to its functioning.
Psychometrica | Disha
Want to make a smooth college to career transition? Sharpen your vital competencies from now!
We have heard often enough how competitive today’s occupational world is, and how tough it is to survive and thrive in this competition. True enough! Knowing this , is there something we can do right from our college days to get an edge over the others? Is there something specific that employers look for in their employees? Is there a set of competencies that can be useful to us regardless of which profession we opt for, and can these competencies be mastered?
Indeed there are certain career competencies that are extremely crucial for success. Competencies essentially refer to a collection of characteristics (i.e. skills, knowledge, self- concept, traits and motives), that enables us to be successful in our interactions with others at work, school, home, and in our community at large. They refer to knowledge, skills, and personal attributes required for outstanding performance in a job, role, or specific business. Career competencies, in specific, refer to those characteristics that employers seek in prospective employees. Some of the most crucial career competencies include:
- Communication Skills
- Coping with change
- Team Work
- Professional/Technical Expertise
- Information Technology
- Time Management
- Interpersonal Relations
- Stress Tolerance
- Interpersonal Skills
While students are busy acquiring their degrees and getting mastery of their respective subject areas, they never pay attention to these other competencies that are so crucial in the work place. By focusing on them right from college days, knowing to what extent they possess these skills, knowing what areas they need to work on and develop, they can systematically start working on developing those that they are weak in. by doing this, they can put themselves ahead of the competition, and enhance their job prospects.
How can one develop career competencies?
There are many ways to develop career competencies right from student days. The first step is to recognize the need for doing so. Having done this,
you can take up some of the following activities to build up their competencies:
- Participate in group discussions with friends. Peers can learn a lot from each other. A few friends can get together and decide to work together at enhancing competencies. You can participate in discussions and debates on current issues. The way each individual participates in a group discussion is very indicative of his existing set of competencies. For instance, someone who has leadership qualities will usually take charge of the way the discussion proceeds and the direction it takes. Someone who has excellent communication skills can put forth his or her views in a very persuasive manner. The one with strong interpersonal skills will try and keep tempers cool and resolve any arguments or disagreements.
- Become a member of student clubs/organizations: The various youth clubs or organizations provide an excellent opportunity for youngsters to explore their strengths and weaknesses. Many times, the clubs also organize workshops or training programs on topics like personality development, time management, self-discovery and self-growth. Such workshops can be the stepping-stones to further introspection and self-assessment.
- Competency mapping or skills assessment: One of the best ways to know more about the various competencies and where one stands on them is to get a comprehensive psychometric assessment done. Such assessments are designed by experienced psychologists who have extensively studied human behaviour. There are many kinds of psychometric assessments available in the market, paper-pencil versions as well as online versions. Depending on what the test measures, you will be able to get a pretty good peek within yourself – your personality traits, your skill areas, your aptitudes, and so on.
- Summer jobs: Working part time in the vacations or for some hours during the term would give you invaluable work experience, which can go a long way in your eventual professional success. It not only builds confidence and prepares you for your next role, but also introduces you to the various skills needed on-the-job.
- Vocational subjects: Whenever possible, opt for vocational subjects offered in schools and colleges. Such technical/vocational programs provide you with in-depth career preparation in specific career areas
- Volunteer work: This is something very few students ever consider. However, working for some time at some NGOs or other such organizations that cater to the less fortunate can help build emotional maturity and resilience.
- Thus, in today’ s times, it is vital for you to gain some mastery over the basic career competencies if you are to make a smooth college to career transition. Developing your career competencies will not only provide you with an entry into the profession of your choice, a ‘foot in the door’ of sorts; but will also enable you to progress and advance in your chosen profession. It will eventually lead to job satisfaction.
Ms. Samindara Hardikar-Sawant
Psychometrica | Disha